This is not a vacation
I have seen on social media that many adults in Wilton believe that this corona-induced break is seen as a vacation by the students. They believe that we would rather have this than be in school. As a high school senior, I can tell you that is 100-percent not true.
Before I have a mob of angry adults at my house, allow me to explain. As you can assume, I am writing this on the assumption that we will not return to school this year. On Wednesday, March 11, we had a half-day of school. As we excitedly packed up our belongings and headed home for what we thought was a long weekend, please trust me when I say that none of us thought it would be our last day in high school. If we had, I would have taken the time to say thank you and goodbye to my favorite teachers and administrators. For my peers who play spring sports, they were psyched to play their final season. For those who spent years passionate about theater and orchestra, they were looking forward to their final show.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I understand completely that there are other much more pressing issues in our world today: housing fears, food shortages, lack of medical supplies and workers. I have two cousins who go into work every day at hospitals and have no idea what they will see, face or if they will contract COVID-19. I know that in the grand scheme of life missing the last quarter of my senior year of high school is not a huge concern to the general population, but right now it is impactful to me and my fellow classmates. It does not lessen the blow that I may never see some of my classmates and teachers again. It does not change the fact that there were so many senior-year milestones that we will likely never get to experience.
Instead of being at my senior prom, I’ll be having an online NetflixParty at home. On College Decision Day, I will not be in my Wisconsin gear taking pictures with my friends but scrolling through Facebook to see where everyone is going. In lieu of walking across the stage to accept my diploma on graduation day, I will be opening my mailbox one day to receive my diploma. Dr. O’Donnell, if you are reading this, please make graduation happen even if it is over the summer months.
On a typical vacation, there is no homework. As someone who is enrolled in AP classes, I have had an even larger workload since we have transitioned to online school. Whether it be class Zoom calls, online exams, or note-taking packets to digitally submit, my “vacation” hasn’t been a breeze academically at all. All of my friends in other school districts agree with this. While some people across the nation may enjoy staying home alone and being online indoors 24/7, the majority of American high schoolers do not.
When you finish reading my article, you may call it ridiculous. You may think that all students love the idea of no school and that staying at home watching television is our dream. I will never change your mind and I’m fine with that. But next time you see a high school or college student who is sad at missing their friends and mad that they’re doing class online instead of on campus, think twice. Think back to when you were our age, would you have wanted this “vacation?” I don’t think so.
Zachary Sherman is a senior at Wilton High School. He shares this column with three classmates.